Idiopathic Head Tremors

Tanksmom22

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Hi, I’m Gabby, Tanks mom. We’re new here! Tank is a 3 year old big baby. Recently, we’ve been dealing with idiopathic head tremors. It is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Multiple doctor opinions and my own research tell me it is common, and not harmful at all. I feel like I still have so many unanswered questions. How do I know it’s not really a seizure? Will be he okay if this happens and I’m not home? How long after the episode ends does he actually feel better? I’m a struggling momma suffering seeing her baby like this. Any and all support, advice, and responses are appreciated
 

2BullyMama

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Welcome to EBN!! yes, they are common and not harmful at all. The head tremor will look like a bobble head... if you call their name they respond, will walk to you and take treats. Any type of treat given will help to redirect the muscles so you can give pieces of kibble, cheese, etc.. small pieces till the tremor stops. My guy gets them here and there, a small Stella and chewy's duck treat works every time.

a seizure is much different, they can't respond, and will not be able to walk or take treats. some will drool, pee or poo during the episode.

hope that helps
 
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Tanksmom22

Tanksmom22

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Welcome to EBN!! yes, they are common and not harmful at all. The head tremor will look like a bobble head... if you call their name they respond, will walk to you and take treats. Any type of treat given will help to redirect the muscles so you can give pieces of kibble, cheese, etc.. small pieces till the tremor stops. My guy gets them here and there, a small Stella and chewy's duck treat works every time.

a seizure is much different, they can't respond, and will not be able to walk or take treats. some will drool, pee or poo during the episode.

hope that helps
I’m so sorry you go through it with your guy also! Yes he was completely conscious and totally loving the treats I was giving him and still responded to commands. This makes me feel a lot better, thank you!
 

benny

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Witnessing it for the first time can be absolutely terrifying. However, @2BullyMama’s post above provides some much-needed clarity.

I personally believe these tremors are muscle spasms. The term “idiopathic” simply means there is no known cause.

Many people speculate about flea & tick medicines or heartworm preventatives being a cause. I’ve chosen not to use them anymore, not because I can conclusively link them to my previous bulldog’s IHT, but because the idea got stuck in my mind from all the internet woes. Yet, I’ve also heard from friends whose dogs exhibited these tremors without ever being on such medications. The internet is rife with conflicting information. But as @2BullyMama highlighted, your dog should appear completely normal and responsive during these episodes, which I hope brings you some measure of reassurance.

Note: my first bulldog as a child had seizures. He would stop walking and his eyes would go blank. Sometimes he would fall over. Sometimes this would happen next to the pool, SCARY (we didn’t have fence laws back in those days I guess?).

Before our latest girl, the previous one had the head tremors. Like fast nodding, and reminded me of Parkinson’s. They never negatively affected her.
 
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Tanksmom22

Tanksmom22

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Witnessing it for the first time can be absolutely terrifying. However, @2BullyMama’s post above provides some much-needed clarity.

I personally believe these tremors are muscle spasms. The term “idiopathic” simply means there is no known cause.

Many people speculate about flea & tick medicines or heartworm preventatives being a cause. I’ve chosen not to use them anymore, not because I can conclusively link them to my previous bulldog’s IHT, but because the idea got stuck in my mind from all the internet woes. Yet, I’ve also heard from friends whose dogs exhibited these tremors without ever being on such medications. The internet is rife with conflicting information. But as @2BullyMama highlighted, your dog should appear completely normal and responsive during these episodes, which I hope brings you some measure of reassurance.

Note: my first bulldog as a child had seizures. He would stop walking and his eyes would go blank. Sometimes he would fall over. Sometimes this would happen next to the pool, SCARY (we didn’t have fence laws back in those days I guess?).

Before our latest girl, the previous one had the head tremors. Like fast nodding, and reminded me of Parkinson’s. They never negatively affected her.
Ugh thank you so much for chiming in. I’m sorry for all you’ve had to go through. I’ve heard about all the flea and tick, and think I’m going to start using a topical. The muscle spasms do sound pretty accurate, this is all just so horrifying, I wish we had more studies and answers!!
 

Bulldog2001

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Hi, I’m Gabby, Tanks mom. We’re new here! Tank is a 3 year old big baby. Recently, we’ve been dealing with idiopathic head tremors. It is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Multiple doctor opinions and my own research tell me it is common, and not harmful at all. I feel like I still have so many unanswered questions. How do I know it’s not really a seizure? Will be he okay if this happens and I’m not home? How long after the episode ends does he actually feel better? I’m a struggling momma suffering seeing her baby like this. Any and all support, advice, and responses are appreciated

Welcome!

My dog also has Head tremors and the difference between the head tremors VS a seizure is is your pup responsive when you ask him where is your toy or talk to him and for my dog I would say where is your ball? And he would look right at me and that I know it a head tremor- I just talk to him to distract him and it goes away and it’s harmless.

He also has idiopathic epilepsy too which is way different than the head tremors. Seizures are manageable thru his diet and supplements.

*However, what I did find even though my vet said it’s ‘idiopathic head tremors’ was it was constant daily tremors I mean multiple a day, then I switched his food for another health issue and they were not near as much head tremors, then I switched him to Raw diet- he has been on raw diet for the past 1.5 years now and NOT 1 head tremor since!
What I found was when the head tremors first started was the day he was given a flea tick medication as a preventative as a pup which I will never give again! That can cause head tremors- does he get any flea tick prevention?

And does your pup have allergies?
Sometimes his allergy flares have caused head tremors.

But the biggest thing that made the difference was the food change to raw- I have not seen 1 head tremor at all since the switch to raw and also no seizures for over a year which is manageable thru diet and supplements.

What do you feed him?? Honestly some will think it’s idiopathic mean no known cause but in my experience my dog had head tremors for 3 years non stop daily and the diet change was what cured it so far.

I know they are very scary to see- but as long as he is responsive it’s not a seizure.

Food can definitely cause these head tremors- these following brands of food AVOID as they are all garbage/fillers:
-Purina
-Royal Canin
-Eukanuba
-Hills
-Science diet
-Anything from vet or grocery store avoid.

Also Anything from Purina AVOID as it’s all fillers/garbage.

All those foods in my experience can cause these head tremors.

Good quality kibble brands:

-Natures Logic
-Carna 4

Those are premium kibble brands and synthetic free and has probiotics in it.
Very premium, if raw isn’t a option for you try Natures Logic.

Keep us updated

@Tanksmom22 I also forgot to add during my dogs seizures episodes- he would also drool LOTs as well as pee and scream.
 
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Tanksmom22

Tanksmom22

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Welcome!

My dog also has Head tremors and the difference between the head tremors VS a seizure is is your pup responsive when you ask him where is your toy or talk to him and for my dog I would say where is your ball? And he would look right at me and that I know it a head tremor- I just talk to him to distract him and it goes away and it’s harmless.

He also has idiopathic epilepsy too which is way different than the head tremors. Seizures are manageable thru his diet and supplements.

*However, what I did find even though my vet said it’s ‘idiopathic head tremors’ was it was constant daily tremors I mean multiple a day, then I switched his food for another health issue and they were not near as much head tremors, then I switched him to Raw diet- he has been on raw diet for the past 1.5 years now and NOT 1 head tremor since!
What I found was when the head tremors first started was the day he was given a flea tick medication as a preventative as a pup which I will never give again! That can cause head tremors- does he get any flea tick prevention?

And does your pup have allergies?
Sometimes his allergy flares have caused head tremors.

But the biggest thing that made the difference was the food change to raw- I have not seen 1 head tremor at all since the switch to raw and also no seizures for over a year which is manageable thru diet and supplements.

What do you feed him?? Honestly some will think it’s idiopathic mean no known cause but in my experience my dog had head tremors for 3 years non stop daily and the diet change was what cured it so far.

I know they are very scary to see- but as long as he is responsive it’s not a seizure.

Food can definitely cause these head tremors- these following brands of food AVOID as they are all garbage/fillers:
-Purina
-Royal Canin
-Eukanuba
-Hills
-Science diet
-Anything from vet or grocery store avoid.

Also Anything from Purina AVOID as it’s all fillers/garbage.

All those foods in my experience can cause these head tremors.

Good quality kibble brands:

-Natures Logic
-Carna 4

Those are premium kibble brands and synthetic free and has probiotics in it.
Very premium, if raw isn’t a option for you try Natures Logic.

Keep us updated
Yes he has been giving nexgard, and simparica trio. Both we’ve experienced a tremor on. I did notice it was within about a week of the chews that a tremor happened with a month of not having one between.

He is responsive so definitely sounds like a tremor. So far we’ve only experienced 2, being 2 months apart from one another. How do you differentiate the tremors from epilepsy?

He does have allergies we’ve used Benadryl, simplicef, apoquel, and cytopoint.
With this allergies and sensitive digestive, the only food we’ve found that works for him is Purina Pro Plan Salmon and Rice but now that you’ve said it’s garbage, I’m nervous. I thought it was a really good food compared to all others.
I definitely don’t think raw diet is the way to go for him because of his digestive and just negative things I’ve heard, but I’m definitely open to looking into one of the safer kibbles you suggested.
 

Bulldog2001

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Yes he has been giving nexgard, and simparica trio. Both we’ve experienced a tremor on. I did notice it was within about a week of the chews that a tremor happened with a month of not having one between.

He is responsive so definitely sounds like a tremor. So far we’ve only experienced 2, being 2 months apart from one another. How do you differentiate the tremors from epilepsy?

He does have allergies we’ve used Benadryl, simplicef, apoquel, and cytopoint.
With this allergies and sensitive digestive, the only food we’ve found that works for him is Purina Pro Plan Salmon and Rice but now that you’ve said it’s garbage, I’m nervous. I thought it was a really good food compared to all others.
I definitely don’t think raw diet is the way to go for him because of his digestive and just negative things I’ve heard, but I’m definitely open to looking into one of the safer kibbles you suggested.

Definitely sounds like both Nexguard and simparica is part of the issue.
Nexguard is the EXACT flea tick prevention meds the vet gave us for preventative that caused the very first head tremor and then it went out of hand and I had only gave him 1 and never gave another pill.

Difference between seizures and tremors- when my dog has a head tremor he looks at me when I am taking to him and is responding when I ask him to look at me. His head basically is constantly shaking and it goes away as long as I distract him and make sure to stay calm so it doesn’t scare him cause they pick up our energy.

Seizures- he screamed and was NOT responding at all when I ask him to look at me at all no matter What I ask him even where the ball is-no responding from him. He also peed himself after the scream and was shaking, his eyes looked out of it and he was very confused after his seizures episode which thankfully only last 30 seconds or less but that’s very scary to hear that scream and him to pee(which was on me and the couch when he was curled up sleeping on me on the couch), we had a MRI done a year ago with a neurologist and that’s who diagnosed him with IVDD(a spine issue)and idiopathic epilepsy and the head tremors our regular vet diagnosed him and they haven’t come back since the switch to raw.

And I have heard of those Nexguard and others causing seizures later on In The dogs life, which is something I think possibly happened.

For allergies- cytopoint, apoquel and atopica and Benadryl actually suppress the immune system which lets yeast, viruses and cancer take over which actually happened to my other dog who passed of cancer a few months ago. And the vet actually told me I think the apoquel and cytopoint actually caused it to get out of hand.
My other dog with the seizures and head tremors, he has severe Allergies and I said NO to Apoquel, cytopoint, atopica and Benadryl and no to steroids too for those risky health issues that can pop up from those medications.

What I use for his allergies is Four Leaf Rover brand Bovine Colostrum which you give 30 minutes BEFORE breakfast just put in dish by itself and let them lick it up as it’s better absorbed on empty stomach. That was amazing helping his allergies, I highly recommend trying that bovine colostrum.

You can also give him Quercetin which is a antihistamine but doesn’t have the side effects like Benadryl and apoquel and cytopoint.

A better quality food really helps.

Too many carbs in the food like Purina for example and that has synthetic vitamins which can cause allergies too and inflammation- carbs create inflammation too- which makes all worse and all health issues. Purina is very low quality, I recommend getting him on better quality food, rice can be a allergy too which is in your food.

Natures logic is really good, I have heard great results with the Sardine formula cause good for inflammation and really low carbs is Natures Logic.
And the quality is very good and no synthetic vitamins. And has probiotics which are also helpful for allergies.

Raw is not for everyone- I recommend at least trying the Natures Logic even if his allergies aren’t perfect it can prevent many health issues that low quality Purina can cause.

Many health issues in my dog has been treated thru good food that was caused by low quality food they were on as pups.

Even my other 2 dogs got kidney disease by the same low quality food as Purina they were on a puppies, they were given. 6 months max when they were diagnosed at ages 5 and 6 years. Over 2 years later which is now, the one dog is still with us and her kidneys are the best they have ever been and the other dog that passed of cancer, her kidneys were good it was cancer that took her, and thanks to the good quality food they are on now and a supplement, those health issues are manageable and some have fully gone away.
I’m just sharing my experience with good quality food and how bad health issues the low quality food causes.

My point here is low quality food causes health issues and me sharing my experience here with what health issues my dogs got from garbage/ low quality food as puppies and these health issues have been improved and some have been treated thru good diet and supplements.
The 2 dogs were given. 6 months when diagnosed with kidney disease and it’s been over 2 years and the vet is very impressed with how well the one is doing.

And the dog with head tremors and seizures and Allergies, good quality food has basically treated the head tremors and allergies are better on good quality food and supplements(bovine colostrum I recommend for your dogs allergies).

Even if your dog didn’t have health issues, getting them on food quality food is the way to keep health issues away. I personally would get my dog off Purina ASAP as it’s garbage/ fillers, one person here will disagree but just cause 1 or 2 people here who’s dog does ok on it doesn’t mean it’s good food and will eventually cause health issues.

It’s also good to rotate proteins to prevent new food allergies, so for example if you switch him to Natures Logic, you can rotate thru sardine, then Pork, then Beef, then Lamb then venison for example.

I think getting him off Purina will help your dogs allergies and immune system. It doesn’t have to be raw, Natures Logic and Carna 4 are the premium brand kibbles, but Carna 4 can be hard to find and is more expensive than Natures Logic.

That’s why I recommend the Natures Logic for your dog.


I hope this information helps you.

Keep us updated
 
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Tanksmom22

Tanksmom22

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Definitely sounds like both Nexguard and simparica is part of the issue.
Nexguard is the EXACT flea tick prevention meds the vet gave us for preventative that caused the very first head tremor and then it went out of hand and I had only gave him 1 and never gave another pill.

Difference between seizures and tremors- when my dog has a head tremor he looks at me when I am taking to him and is responding when I ask him to look at me. His head basically is constantly shaking and it goes away as long as I distract him and make sure to stay calm so it doesn’t scare him cause they pick up our energy.

Seizures- he screamed and was NOT responding at all when I ask him to look at me at all no matter What I ask him even where the ball is-no responding from him. He also peed himself after the scream and was shaking, his eyes looked out of it and he was very confused after his seizures episode which thankfully only last 30 seconds or less but that’s very scary to hear that scream and him to pee(which was on me and the couch when he was curled up sleeping on me on the couch), we had a MRI done a year ago with a neurologist and that’s who diagnosed him with IVDD(a spine issue)and idiopathic epilepsy and the head tremors our regular vet diagnosed him and they haven’t come back since the switch to raw.

And I have heard of those Nexguard and others causing seizures later on In The dogs life, which is something I think possibly happened.

For allergies- cytopoint, apoquel and atopica and Benadryl actually suppress the immune system which lets yeast, viruses and cancer take over which actually happened to my other dog who passed of cancer a few months ago. And the vet actually told me I think the apoquel and cytopoint actually caused it to get out of hand.
My other dog with the seizures and head tremors, he has severe Allergies and I said NO to Apoquel, cytopoint, atopica and Benadryl and no to steroids too for those risky health issues that can pop up from those medications.

What I use for his allergies is Four Leaf Rover brand Bovine Colostrum which you give 30 minutes BEFORE breakfast just put in dish by itself and let them lick it up as it’s better absorbed on empty stomach. That was amazing helping his allergies, I highly recommend trying that bovine colostrum.

You can also give him Quercetin which is a antihistamine but doesn’t have the side effects like Benadryl and apoquel and cytopoint.

A better quality food really helps.

Too many carbs in the food like Purina for example and that has synthetic vitamins which can cause allergies too and inflammation- carbs create inflammation too- which makes all worse and all health issues. Purina is very low quality, I recommend getting him on better quality food, rice can be a allergy too which is in your food.

Natures logic is really good, I have heard great results with the Sardine formula cause good for inflammation and really low carbs is Natures Logic.
And the quality is very good and no synthetic vitamins. And has probiotics which are also helpful for allergies.

Raw is not for everyone- I recommend at least trying the Natures Logic even if his allergies aren’t perfect it can prevent many health issues that low quality Purina can cause.

Many health issues in my dog has been treated thru good food that was caused by low quality food as pups.
This was super helpful. Looking into the allergy substitute
 

Manydogs

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I don't think that food has anything to do with head tremors or seizures, but A quality food will be better for their overall health. I believe a grain-free food is also better. Everyone has their own beliefs.
 
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Tanksmom22

Tanksmom22

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I don't think that food has anything to do with head tremors or seizures, but A quality food will be better for their overall health. I believe a grain-free food is also better. Everyone has their own beliefs.
What food do you recommend
 

Manydogs

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I do not normally recommend food, as everyone has their own ideas. I have(had 5-just lost one)4 dogs and feed the best that I can afford(barely!). I feed Taste of the wild grain free. I believe that Martha possibly had a heart attack and no vet was available at the time. Anyway that just to say that (knock on wood)none of my dogs have ever been sick. Martha was 10, Maude is about to be 11 in Oct. Both EBD's. The other 2 are 2 and 7 yrs. Veterinarians do not sell good food. They are paid to sell the food they sell, and grocery stores do not sell good food. Chewy and pet stores have better foods and some not so much. Other people recommend other food, that I can't afford.
 

Bulldog2001

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I don't think that food has anything to do with head tremors or seizures, but A quality food will be better for their overall health. I believe a grain-free food is also better. Everyone has their own beliefs.

I didn’t think so either, but in my experience the better quality food actually got rid of it. And my dogs allergies flare ups also caused some extra head tremors.

The more I improved his food the less the head tremors happened, then when the switch to raw I wasn’t expecting his head tremors to fully go away, but they sure did go away fully on raw diet and the managed allergies.

Now to me it makes sense that the better the health my dog was in from good food, no more head tremors.
Again this is my experience with my dog, just sharing info🙂

And since @Tanksmom22 said her dog has allergies, it could make the head tremors worse for why it’s a good idea for her to get her off Purina low quality food and onto a healthier food to help the allergy issues which can help head tremors 👍

And definitely feed the best you can afford as things in general are very expensive!
 

benny

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The food you are feeding is a good quality food. It is not causing tremors
 
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